These gloves are a great tool that is used by many herpetologists and reptile keepers worldwide. However, I’ve seen many cases of improper use, which can lead to potentially lethal situations.
The most important thing that you should realise is that the gloves are puncture resistant, NOT puncture proof. In my opinion, your handling skills are your number one protector against snake bites, and the gloves merely serve as an extra barrier that is welcome in certain situations, for instance, when you are distracting a king cobra with your hand.
Another situation where I use gloves can be seen in this photo. This baby adder is really small and using a hook would be inefficient. So, in this case I would also choose the gloves.
You must also think about the specific species that you’re handling. Short and straight fangs with a strong bite force (e.g. king cobra), will be more likely to penetrate the gloves than snakes with a low bite force and/or long, fragile, curved fangs.
Also remember that the gloves do take away some mobility in your fingers, so you have to make the trade off between gaining a bit more protection and losing mobility. Each situation is different, so think about this before you start handling. Do not think that you are invincible when wearing these gloves! Yes they are a great tool, but use them wisely. If you want to purchase a set, please check out www.snakeprofessional.com!
Sterrin Smalbrugge, MSc.
Sterrin's Wild World